The origin of rare alkali metals in geothermal fluids of southern Tibet, China: A silicon isotope perspective
Eastoe, Christopher J
Williams-Jones, Anthony E
Hohl, Simon V
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Geosci
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationWang, W., Wei, H. Z., Jiang, S. Y., Tan, H. B., Eastoe, C. J., Williams-Jones, A. E., ... & Wu, H. P. (2019). The origin of rare alkali metals in geothermal fluids of southern Tibet, China: A silicon isotope perspective. Scientific reports, 9(1), 7918.
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AbstractGeothermal waters from the Semi, Dagejia and Kawu hot springs in the Shiquanhe-Yarlung Zangbo geothermal field of southern Tibet (China) are highly enriched in rare alkali metals (RAM). However, the enrichment mechanism is still hotly debated. Here, we report the first silicon isotope data of these geothermal waters to unravel the origin of the extreme RAM enrichments. Sinter precipitation in the spring vents and water-rock interaction in the deep reservoir controlled both the silicon budget and silicon isotope fractionation. The rates of water-rock interaction and sinter precipitation in three spring sites decrease in the sequences Semi > Kawu > Dagejia, and Dagejia > Kawu > Semi respectively. Silicon isotope fractionation during sinter precipitation (i.e. Δ30Siprecipitate-solution < -0.1‰) is less than that due to water-rock interaction (i.e. Δ30Sisolution-rocks at least as high as -0.47‰), which makes it possible to use the δ30Si signatures of springs to evaluate the intensity of water-rock interaction. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of RAM enrichment is proposed: (i) persistent magmatic activity in southern Tibet provided the initial enrichment of the RAM in host rocks and a heat sources for the deep reservoirs of geothermal systems; (ii) the high Cl- content and long residence time (thousands of years) promote the leaching of RAM from the silicate host rocks.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Key R&D Program of China [2017YFC0602405]; National Natural Science Foundation of China [41673001, 41872074, 41422302]
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